• The Shāhīn Affair and the Evolution of uṣūl al-tafsīr

    Author(s):
    Sohaib Saeed (see profile)
    Date:
    2019
    Subject(s):
    Qurʼan, Islam, Egypt, Hermeneutics
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Qur'an, Evolution
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/avzt-xp07
    Abstract:
    In 1997, the distinguished linguistics professor ʿAbd al-Ṣabūr Shāhīn of Cairo University published his re-reading of the Qur’anic story of creation, entitled Abī Ādam (‘My Father Adam’). Although the book was met with a storm of refutations, televised debates and a blasphemy charge against the author, the Islamic Research Council of Al-Azhar University concluded that the book was flawed but not blasphemous. This paper sheds light on Shāhīn’s key strategies in arguing for an evolutionary reading of the Qur’an, in which Adam was the first full human (insān) endowed with divine spirit, but born on earth to hominid parents (bashar). Responses by two other linguistics scholars, ʿAbd al-ʿAẓīm Ibrāhīm al-Maṭʿanī of Al-Azhar and Ḥamza b. Qublān al-Muzaynī of King Saud University, illustrate the contemporary underdevelopment of Qur’anic hermeneutics (uṣūl al-tafsīr) as a discipline. The paper draws attention to current scholarly developments in the Muslim world and the move from refutations of individual projects, to constructive accounts based on tradition.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    6 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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